- Games are played with 6 players, two of which must be female, and at least two of which must be male. Teams need a minimum of 4 players to avoid a default, one of which must be of the opposite gender.
- Teams with only one female must play short-handed.
- The 6 players that start a game are the only players that can play during that particular game. Substitute players must wait until the next game before playing.
- Substitutions are allowed for injured players during each game, can be any gender as long as the minimums are maintained.
- 4 dodgeballs will be used for each game.
- Matches are scheduled for 55 minutes and must end on time, so if the game starts late, it still has to end on time. Teams play as many games in the allotted time as can be fit into the time.
- There are no time-outs during the match.
- If a game is still being played when time expires, the team with the most live players on the court at the time will win the game. If teams have the same number of players on the court when time expires, both teams receive a point for that game.
- Players are confined to the centre line, sidelines and back wall of the court unless stipulated by the referee. During play, all players must remain within the centre line. Players may leave the boundaries on their side of the playing area ONLY to retrieve a ball.
- Some schools with larger gyms will have a neutral zone the boundaries of which will be identified by the referee at the start of the game. Both teams can enter this neutral zone. During the opening rush however, crossing the center line while retrieving your ball will result in an out. (For example – schools such as Glenforest, Corpus Christi and St. Faustina would have neutral zones while Tecumseh would not.)
The Opening Rush:
Games begin by placing 4 dodgeballs along the center line - 2 on one side of the center hash and 2 on the other. Players will then take a position against their back walls and following the "Dodgeball" shout by the referee, teams may approach the centre line to retrieve the balls on their side of the court. Teams may only retrieve the 2 balls to their right of the center hash. Once a ball is retrieved it must be taken behind the designated throwing line before it can be legally thrown. If a ball(s) has not been retrieved, but the opening rushers have crossed the designated throwing line, then the remaining non-retrieved ball(s) are in play and can be used by either team.
- If a LIVE ball is caught, the thrower is OUT and the catching team can return a previously eliminated player to the court. The order of returning players will be based on the order each player was originally eliminated.
- Players can only be in possession of one ball at any time. Holding or touching two dodgeballs with your hands at the same time will result in an out.
- 10 Second Rule: Players need to throw the ball within 10 seconds, if they don’t, they lose possession. Bouncing a ball, putting it down or passing to another teammate does not reset this time. The goal is to keep the game moving. If there are balls stuck on one side which the team is making no attempt to use then the referee will roll them over to the other side. However, if they are setting them up to use them in succession then that is OK.
- Once a player is eliminated, they must throw their hands in the air and make every effort to leave the court immediately. An ‘Out’ player who tries to block a ball while leaving the court will have the closest player on their team called ‘Out.’ Players who have been called out cannot retrieve stray balls for their teammates.
- Players are responsible for your actions and maintain self-control. Do not taunt or bait opponents and refrain from using foul or abusive language. Players kicking or spiking a ball out of frustration will be called out or asked to sit off for one game.
- A ball that touches another ball or a player is STILL LIVE i.e. Deflections off of a teammate do count and both players will be out. If the deflected ball is caught by any in-bound player prior to the ball becoming dead, the thrower is out and the catching team can return a player.
- If a ball is used to block a ball and the thrown ball deflects off the held ball and hits any part of the blocking player, except the head, then the blocking player is out. If deflected it into a player’s own face, it’s deemed a “no call”. The reason for this is you can’t get out by getting hit in the head. But it can’t be called a “head shot” because it was deflected.
- Once a ball is in the air it’s “live”. If two opposing players throw at different times but hit one another, both players are considered out.
- If a ball hits another ball, which a player has in their possession, it does not make either player out. If the ball is dropped as a result of contact from the thrown ball, then the player who drops the ball is out.
- A player cannot touch any part of their opponent’s side of the court. Leaning over the centre line to retrieve a ball is allowed. Touching the centerline with your feet or hands is a foul and the player will be called out.
- A player returning to the play after a catch has 5 seconds of being “safe”. BUT if they get involved in the play [e.g. they pick up a ball, run to the line, etc.]) They are considered “in play” again.
- Rules will be enforced primarily by the "honor system". Players will be expected to rule whether or not a hit was legal or whether they were legally eliminated. All contests will be refereed. The referee’s responsibility will be to rule on any situation in which teams cannot agree. THE REFEREE’S DECISION IS FINAL - NO EXCEPTIONS.
- Starting 2017, players are not permitted to squeeze the air out of the ball. Players can squeeze gently to get a better grip on the ball. However, any deliberate and excessive squeezing of the ball, in an effort to get rid of the air, so as to throw harder and/or get extra movement on the ball is not permitted.
Head Shots - A player getting hit in the neck or above must call, out loud, “head shot” so the other team knows they’ve been hit. The thrower would then be called “out”. Referees should then take a quick time-out to make sure the hit player is OK. However, the Ref can overrule this if they determine the hit player was clearly ducking, bending over or purposefully getting hit in the head – in this case it’s considered a “no call” and both players – the thrower and person getting hit – are safe and can continue playing. This is at sole discretion of the Referee.
Live Ball - A ball that has been thrown and has not touched the floor/ground, the ceiling, the back wall, the official or other item outside of the playing field.
Air Suicides – When a player jumps in the air before the centerline to throw a ball and lands on their opponent’s side. The player will be called out immediately and any balls they threw will not be counted.
The match will be played in three game rotations followed by an “All-In” game played last to finish the match.
Game One – “ORIGINAL.” The original dodgeball game that we all played in school with four dodgeballs.
Game Two – “FIVE BALL.” One extra ball will be put into play and can be used similar to other dodgeballs (i.e. used to block or to throw). This ball will be placed in the middle of the court on the center line at the start of the game. It is open for both teams to attempt to retrieve it; however, safety must be considered during the opening rush. The no-kicking rule will be strictly enforced as well as the boundaries as stipulated by the referee.
Game Three – “DEAD MAN.” Each team will choose one player to wear a vest. If that player is hit anytime during the game, then that team will lose the game. The dead man is just like any other player in the fact they can hold, block, throw, catch, etc. The Dead Man is also allowed "blockers". They are given the 10 second rule just like all players. When they are the last player left, The Dead Man is limited to one block after which they need to throw (If they block two or three quick ones in trying to attack that is acceptable but this rule applies if they're simply sitting back and making the other team throw).
Last Game “All-In” – During the last game, all players are allowed to play. Catches eliminate an opposing player but do not bring in a previously eliminated teammate. Additional balls will be added to this round if available and all balls are open for either team to retrieve. These games do not count towards the final score.